Thane: The Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has been caught on the wrong foot for anomalies that expose the murky financial picture of the civic body. This time the MBMC is under the scanner for giving a kids-glove treatment to local developers and influential plot owners who have saddled the tax department with multi-crore arrears towards Open Land Tax (OLT).
Scores of individuals and developers have defaulted on OLT payments that have amounted to a total loss of Rs. 25 crores. This apart from penal interest amounting to Rs. 35.53 that occupies lion’s share in MBMC’s revenue generation in the current fiscal. “Not only has a blind eye been turned towards multi-crore arrears, but a red carpet rolled out for defaulting builders by approving their proposals," said the BJP corporator Prashant Dalvi.
"The civic administration should add OLT arrears in the property tax account owned by the developers and also ensure that none of their building proposals are sanctioned until the entire OLT and any other dues are cleared,” demanded the leader of the house.
“A list of defaulters is being prepared and the drive to recover OLT will be intensified in the coming days. We will ensure strict enforcement measures to ensure nobody evades tax liabilities.” said a senior officer attached to the town planning department.
The sloppiness shown by the administration in recovering the OLT not only carries the risk of turning the huge tax over-dues into bad debts, but this is in complete contrast to the standards of recovery adopted for a common man against whom the MBMC leaves no stone unturned to initiate the harshest of measures including disconnection of water supply and seizure of properties. There have been allegations of gross manipulations and tweaked measurements leading to extremely poor recovery from taxable properties.